French Defense Minister Expects U.N. Security Council to Authorize Mali Intervention

9030336bae0e6d1059d8f9f07fa2e2b35ec7 French Defense Minister Expects U.N. Security Council to Authorize Mali Intervention

France’s defense minister has
said that the U.N. Security Council will pass a
resolution before Christmas that will authorize a multinational
African force to “stabilize” Mali. The resolution calls for an
intervention force of 3,300 troops lead by ECOWAS (Economic
Community of West African States). An anonymous source spoke of
another plan that involves sending 5,500 troops to help upgrade
Mali’s military. The announcement comes a little more than a week
after the Ivorian president said that a military intervention was
likely
in early 2013 and Chad’s president expressed “total confusion”
over intervention.In a separate operation, the E.U. is planning to send
hundreds of European troops under French command to Mali to
help “rebuild” Mali’s army.French drones have already been over the skies of the North
African country, where Al Qaeda-linked militants have taken hold of
the north and the south is under the control of an unstable and
ineffective government. The fear is that Mali could become a new base for Al Qaeda if
militants are not displaced or defeated. The U.S. seems to share
these fears.
Almost two weeks ago, officials from the State and Defense
departments told senators that they were working with ECOWAS and
considering offering the force that enters Mali equipment,
training, and advisers.Quite what a successful intervention in Mali looks like is
unclear. It is unrealistic to think that African troops, even with
French and American support, will be able to effectively dislodge
Al Qaeda-linked militants from a politically unstable country that
is slightly larger than Italy, France, and the U.K. combined. Even
were the militants defeated, they could move to one of Mali’s
neighbors. In addition, what influence foreign troops would have in
an already politically unstable country is not obvious or
predictable. What is too often forgotten in many of the discussion regarding
Mali is that it was
foreign intervention in Libya that contributed to northern Mali
falling into the hands of Tuareg fighters, who were then displaced
by Al Qaeda-linked militants. No one has yet been able to give a
convincing argument for why an intervention in Mali will be any
less predictable. 

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French Defense Minister Expects U.N. Security Council to Authorize Mali Intervention

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